The NFL offseason can feel like the barren desert following the peak of free agency and the conclusion of the NFL draft.
Many dedicated fans try to appease their NFL cravings with Major League ballparks or even the NBA playoffs, but nothing can quite satisfy the football cravings.
Green Bay Packers fans should be careful that the middle of the offseason does not lull them to sleep. It is in these weeks of OTAs and the coming training camps that some of the best roster stories are born. The Lombardiave.com staff is committed to keeping you posted as these stories emerge and as the 2013 Green Bay Packers roster takes shape.
So, Packers fans, here is the first of many developing stories to keep your eye on.
Who will emerge at safety?
Obviously, Morgan Burnett is a lock to start in the secondary. Who will start opposite him is a another matter. Many were surprised that Ted Thompson did not select a safety in this year’s draft. I was not one of those people. If you take a careful look at the Packers’ pre-draft scouting, it showed that they were not aggressively pursuing the safety position. In fact, none of the players that the Packers met with at the Combine, personal workouts, and pro days played the safety position exclusively.
Green Bay has Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings already in-house and it seems that they will spend the coming weeks competing for the other starting safety position. These two both showed potential last season and must have done enough to gain the confidence of the coaching staff. It will be interesting to see which of these two flashes enough to earn a starting gig on a Packers’ defense – a unit that is attempting to rebrand itself with toughness and physicality.
It is difficult to predict which of these two comes out on top. Both are adequate in pass coverage, while McMillian seems to have more upside against the run. However, the Packers gave more playing time to Jennings in crunch time – specifically, in the playoffs.
Other players who could factor into the competition are Sean Richardson, an undrafted player with good size and speed out of Vanderbilt. He has shown promise, but spent last year battling a neck injury. Green Bay did not draft a safety in 2013, but they did draft one who has experience at the position.
Micah Hyde spent time at safety during his collegiate career at Iowa. While it sounds like the Packers plan to keep him at corner, some believe he could be a natural fit at safety. Given the unexpected in camp (and we usually do experience the unexpected) Hyde could be called on to add to the safety competition. This is certainly a long shot, but heck, it could happen.
Every good drama requires tension that requires resolution. The Packers offseason will be filled with such stories. The competition at the safety spot will be just one that draws attention. Let’s hope we see the best in those few players and that one will rise to the occasion.
Who do you think will be “the one?”